Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spruce Up Your Home for Christmas

Christmas heralds a flurry of activity within the home. Among many cultures -- and to Filipinos, most especially -- Christmas is a time to celebrate with family, one's most cherished and loved companions in life. The home becomes a space for get-togethers and having a good time with the people closest to you. As such, preparations are in order: rooms have to be decorated; the floor has to be swept and kept gleaming; tabletops may need some dusting; the silverware will have to be readied for that lavish dinner you have in mind. Look to the tips below to make your home as welcoming and as festive to your family and guests this season:

General cleaning.
Sprucing up the space involves not just putting up your Yuletide accouterments, but cleaning up the home. Before hanging up that wreath, make sure that the windowsills are dusted, for instance. Clean up and declutter the areas where you will be entertaining your guests -- the dining room, the living room, the kitchen, the patio, and others besides. And might as well do some general cleaning -- after all, it's the end of the year, as good a time as any to declutter, get rid of old belongings, and free up some space in your home, and in your life, to welcome the impending new year with. (Consider donating your old clothes, toys, books, and other unneeded belongings to charity. ‘Tis the season to be giving, after all.)

Freshen up your decorations.
Reusing your decorations means that you’ll have to spruce ‘em up, as well. Dust, wash, or wipe clean your ornaments as needed. Air them out to keep them from smelling musty, especially if you keep them shut in a box or in a dank old closet for the rest of the year.

Make a good first impression.
“Welcoming” and “enticing” are the adjectives to aspire to. Make sure that your lawn, your driveway, and your foyer or hallway, for instance, are suitable to the season and very much pleasing to the eye. Trim your lawn, deck your garden with lights and lanterns, hang a wreath on your door -- you know the drill. Set a very Christmas-y tone upon first glance. 

Deck the halls.
Decorate. Whether you’re going traditional (evergreen, bells, tinsel, angels, nativity scenes, and combinations of rich, vivid red, green and gold), or aiming for a bolder, modern look (sleek sculptural ornaments, bold color combinations of black, silver and gold), Christmas is just not what it is without the Christmas tree. It is a focal point; a centerpiece. More so, it is often where we place our gifts. As a social event that celebrates sharing and giving, the Christmas tree is a vital icon of the season, and a must in your home.

Set a mood with lighting.
Your typical fluorescent lights won’t cut it for this occasion. A sterile white light doesn’t exactly inspire warmth, coziness, or cheer. Opt for a warmer, incandescent, yellowish light by using lamps, lanterns, candles, or your chandelier, if any. Or make use of bright, colorful Christmas lights and lanterns for a more festive feel to the space.

Free up some space.
Rearrange furniture as needed to allow for more room to entertain guests in. Prepare extra chairs in sitting areas and around the dining table, as needed. Make sure that you have fresh towels, tissue paper, and hand soap in your bathroom for guests. Ready a spare room or sleeping area if any of your guests are staying over. 


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